Archive for the ‘Movie Financing & Marketing’ Category

“The nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute in New York is joining to create a digital marketplace for films and videos that have been stuck in archives with limited circulation or have been otherwise unavailable through conventional retail and Web outlets.”

Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? What’s really compelling, is that the service offers free of charge transfer from video to digital formats, and very cheap rates for film to digital transfers (approx. 672$ for a 90 minute feature). Moreover the producer/director can set the price for rental or dvd sales on Amazon.

But with all web distribution services the same question rises: How to spread the word on all these beautiful independent films and video works? Reframe tries to reach an educational and institutional audience, but also uses the power of social web functions, as users on the site can curate thematical collections and lists and share those with each other.

Visit the Reframecollection and read a detailed feature in the New York Times.

YouTube has opened an indie film screening program called YouTube Screening Room. They’ll release 4 films every two weeks, both animation and real action short films, featuring award winning high quality movies. YouTube really steps away from it’s regular distribution methods, for the program it drops it’s 10 minute limit and experiments with a higher video quality. Moreover, all screened indie short films take part in a revenue sharing program. What’s really thrilling is, that you can buy the films directly from the page via direct download (1.99$) or DVD. Looks like a new distribution channel for the indie film industry?! Submit your film to

From the first batch of films I deeply enjoyed Miranda July’s “Are you the favourite person of anybody?”

What’s interesting is, that Atom films tried to push exactly the same idea for about ten! years and finally failed and has become a sub brand of comedy central. YouTube has a much bigger audience so I’m quite excited that they might can create more awareness for indie films.

What I don’t understand is that YouTube constricts the community tools for the Screening Room. You can’t embed the films, there’s no option for commenting or bookmarking them. Haven’t those tool been the key to YouTube’s success? So why do they make a step backward for distributing indie films?

How does that sound to you? Lame doesn’t it? When THE FIRST FULL FEATURE ON YOUTUBE, Four Eyed Monsters, came out, I was wondering how much of it’s success you could count on it’s the first mover effect. Well, The Cult of Sincerity is the first full feature DEBUT on YouTube but it seems like it can’t get as much attention as FEM did, until now it only attracted 20k viewers.

The Trailer:

When I watched the movie I was thinking about reception situations again. How much time do you give a movie to catch your attention when you see it in a cinema? 30 Minutes? More? How much time do you give a movie on YouTube to catch your attention? 5 minutes? 2? When FEM came out, I gave it a try, because I really wanted to know what’s the first feature on YouTube is like. It turned out to be a great movie! This time with COS I had a much lower attention span so I caught myself clicking away the movie after some minutes. But movies need their time to envolve, they need their time to construct a rahter complex story…that makes them interesting. Just because you see it on the Internet, why does it have to blow up fireworks in the first minutes to hook you up? Therefore I gave COS a second try, and guess what…it turns out to be a great movie!

So go watch it here:

Get the filmmakers 2 $ by signing up here, and learn more about the project here and on the film’s website.

“I like your website.”
“The profile or the site?”
“The site!”
“So are we electronic friends yet?”

Republica 08 is already over for some days but I’d like to point a interesting panel out to you guys. The panel was entitled “The same production as every year - Media Aid 2.x”. The speakers introduced some interesting programs and gave some remarks on how to apply.


The MEDIA program of the European Union has a budget for interactive projects. Depending on your project you can get up to 100k €.


Local Aid institutions like The Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg have programs for digital content, too. As their program is in a test run right now, you won’t find any information on their website about it. If you’re interested in the program you can contact the responsible referent Rangeen Kathrina Horami.

I left the panel with hybrid feelings. The idea of gonvernmental aid for interactive content sounds very compelling in the first moment. One important aspects of the issue cool down my enthusiam. First, those programs are always an economic aid, not a cultural aid. Therefore, every submitted project needs a business plan. But would’nt it be great to develop new ways of interactive storytelling without economical bonds? I give you an example: The new webisode genre is desperately searching for new ways of financiation. Right now, product placement seems to be the most profitable method but it’s restricting narration heavily if you have to show a sponsor’s car quite often. Would’nt it be nice to experiment with interactive storytelling to push the boundaries of the genre? Therefore, a cultureal aid would help much more than an economical aid.

Anyway, media aid for digital content is a new possibility of financiation I’ll keep an eye on! Do you guys have any experiences with such programs? If so, please share them!

“There are now approximately 30 million surveillance cameras in the United States generating more than 4 billion hours of footage every week. And the numbers are growing. The average American is now captured over 200 times a day, in department stores, gas stations, changing rooms, even public bathrooms. No one is spared from the relentless, unblinking eye of the cameras that are hidden in every nook and cranny of day-to-day life. By shooting his feature entirely from closed-circuit viewpoints (but actually shot with Hi-end cameras - the “dirty” look was created in post-production!), director Adam Rifkin wants to bring forward the question: “who are we when we don’t think anyone’s watching?”

via Diagonal Thoughts.

passepartout! (by Anne Helmond)

…and once again, all the great photos in this entry are made by the very talented Anne Helmond!

And on yet another rainy morning in Amsterdam (not surprising, you get used to it after a while!), full of curiosity and hopes for the day, I went to the second day of the Video Vortex - Responses to YouTube conference. I was hoping that today would be more fruitful than yesterday, and indeed, what a pleasant surprise! Well, call me selfish, but instead of giving a general overview I will focus on the session that was the most interesting for me personally: Curating Online Video.



video vortex at club 11 (by anne helmond)

all the fantastic photos in this entry were taken by Anne Helmond - thanks a lot!
You can also visit the Institute of Network Cultures flickr set of all Video vortex events.

On a rainy morning in Amsterdam (that demanded lots of coffee!), the Video Vortex - Responses to YouTube Conference was kicked off at Club 11. I will be blogging on the conference for movingweb, but I was also there because I have been involved with the project through my work at the Netherlands Media Art Institute where we made an exhibition with the same title and related topics. Well, the program of the conference is quite extensive, and I was very disappointed by some of the presentations today (that seemed unprepared, unfocused, had nothing new to say…a total contrast with the first Video Vortex conference in Brussels!). So I will focus on the gems of today’s presentations!


Michel Gondry, director of Be Kind Rewind, picks his favorite YouTube videos at the Sundance Film Festival.

YouTube DirectLink.

Right after putting the post about IndieMaverick online I learned about a similar site called IndieGoGo via CinemaTech.


There are some differences to IndieMaverick, for example they are financing short films, while IM only supports feature film projects. Read all the details on the “How it works” Page.

I’m very curious how these sites want to reach the critical mass to really finance a project. What do you think?

The Indie Maverick website is rather ugly but the concept shows the right way for the future of movie financing. Filmmakers can present their project on the site and users can buy shares starting from 25$. As long as the aspired budget is not raised the investors can pull out the money, but when the estimated budget is reached, the film gets produced. Read the details here.


“Here at Indie Maverick we recognize that the costs of making films are dropping thanks to new technologies, but there are few avenues for filmmakers to raise their budgets other than hit up family and friends for their $50,000 budget.

We thought we would design a site that brought the funds of the world community to these filmmakers to help them get their films made and allow small investors the ability to share in the profits. Films like Clerks and Blair Witch were made for tiny budgets and made huge profits at the box office.

If Indie Maverick can help the next generation of filmmakers realise their films and can make some money for investors then we have succeeded.”

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